Houston have never won a regular season match in Seattle (0-8-2, -10). Did I just curse the Seattle Sounders? No, don’t be silly. I’m not a warlock. The Houston Dynamo are not going to gain power due to my words.
The Seattle Sounders will gain power from our words, though, as our songs sing strong on Wednesday night (6 PM PT, JOEtv/Prime Video). With so many injuries and absences, the voices of multitudes must inspire the Rave Green.
Return of the Xhive
Xavier Arreaga is back, well rested after his trip to Brazil for Copa America. He was in the matchday squad four times, but did not appear. Back to revivify the defense, the tucked-one last appeared when Seattle last had a shutout. Frankly, not taking damage is good.
Empower the warlord
João Paulo is already the team leader in touches. He’s also second in the league in touch percentage, best among those at creating dangerous passes and in covering vertical distance. In a match(es) without Nico and Cristian, JP will have to be even more of that. Rather than try to find someone else to carry that load, let the bearded one be the maestro. Have him grant attacks to others, give his team the chance to rest, and be stronger because he is strong. Since João Paulo will be surrounded by youth, the team needs to lean on his strengths.
The central character to the Houston Dynamo 2021 story, Maxi Urruti must be turned into a side character unable to capture the plot. By minimizing Urruti’s place in the story on Wednesday night, Seattle Sounders will create their own tale. Min/Max is so singular to the success of Dynamo that a reduction in his importance makes Houston an encounter without a plot.
This version of the Sounders is best when they play on the front foot, owning the pitch. The first few minutes with the largest crowd the stadium has hosted since March 1, 2020 will be as energetic as ever. Ride that feeling and play with the smooth confidence that Seattle can overrun Houston.
Go for the kill
When the opponent is down, finish them off. Leaving them to their own devices leads to uncomfortable situations where the enemy comes back to be a problem again, and again. There need not be a sequel. Finish them.